Every season Supernatural has a handful of episodes so outside the box that the promos have me worrying that they're jumping the proverbial shark. This season alone we've had Clap Your Hands if You Believe , The French Mistake and now Frontierland. But when Supernatural decides to go outside the box, it's rarely a swing and a miss. Needless to say I was very happy with Frontierland. In fact, I've decided that cowboy hats need to come back in fashion. It really is a good look. 



But as great as the hats were, they were just one of the many highlights of Frontierland. We got to meet Samuel Colt in the flesh only to find that he, like most hunters, feels burdened by the job. I couldn't help but notice what a disappointment this was for Sam. At the time I was actually a little surprised that he didn't give Colt a grander speech about his responsibility as a hunter. But in thinking more about it I realized that Sam has seen and felt the burden of this responsibility first hand. Even though he tried to tell Colt that there is no getting out I doubt he really blamed him for trying. I wonder if Sam will ever tell Dean about Colt's attempt to "retire"? Somewhere inside I still think Dean holds on to the dream that hunting and happiness can go hand in hand even if it hasn't worked for him yet. And since Colt is something of a superhero to Dean, his unhappiness has the potential to crush that dream.
 
It's been a while since we've heard anything about the Mother of All. I was starting to wonder why they even bothered with her storyline. We already have so much going on this season, what with Sam getting de-souled and re-souled, Grandpa Samuel rising from the dead and dying again and all that purgatory business not to mention whatever Cas has going on in Heaven.  There really hasn't been much time devoted to the MOA story line. And I can't say we learned much more about her in Frontierland other than the fact that the ashes of a phoenix are her equivalent of kryptonite. I wonder how much damage the bottle of ashes Colt sent will do? i find it hard to believe that that bottle of ashes will be all they'll need to fight her but the way the episode ended left us with the impression that they're planning to go after her.I'll be curious to hear they're plan. 

My fears were confirmed. It seems that Cas has a dirty little secret. We don't yet know what it is, but whatever he's hiding is bad enough that he was almost killed for it. It has to be something to do with how he's acquiring souls, right? I mean, this whole season has revolved around souls; their power, their worth, their influence. And it has been made fairly clear that souls are what Castiel requires to win this war. He un-sunk the Titanic to acquire a few more. Maybe he's been sneaking around, un-doing other disasters and acquiring souls? Is it possible that that's it? That's the reason Rachel tried to kill him? I think that's a little bit of wishful thinking on my part. Cas is obviously hiding something much bigger and I wonder how inadvertently involved the Winchesters have been. They are in no position to lose another ally and it would be heartbreaking if Cas betrayed them in any way. 

I mentioned last week that I was wondering what kind of power was gained from the acquisition of souls. I think we know for sure now that souls equal physical power. Just touching Bobby's gave Castiel the juice to drag Sam and Dean back to the present. Physical power is a good thing to have, especially when you're fighting a war and it would explain why Castiel is so desperately seeking more souls as the war drags on. But we also learned just how dangerous it is to touch the human soul. This makes me worry more about what Castiel seems to be hiding. Is he putting innocent lives in danger for what he sees as the greater good?



There were so many things that Frontierland did right. It would be easy to take these seemingly light-hearted episodes and create what is nothing more than a fun hour of TV, but that would do nothing to propel the story forward. Instead, Supernatural took a quirky concept and used it as a means to advance the plot and set up the groundwork for the remainder of the season. And in true Supernatural fashion, they achieved this feat with no lack of humor. So I would be remiss to talk about this episode without mentioning as many funny moments and I can remember. I'm sure I'll miss some, but I know you guys will help me remember them! 

*First of all, the title card. Genius. I think I've seen every episode of Bonanza there is and I loved the shout out to that classic. 

*Dean: "We'll Star Trek IV this bitch." Is it sad that I knew that reference before Dean explained it?

* Cas: "Is it customary to wear a blanket?"

* Marshall Clint Eastwood and Walker Texas Ranger. Hilarious. 

* Sam riding a horse was almost painful to watch. 

* Dean: "I'm a posse magnet. I mean, I love posse. I'm gonna make that a t-shirt."

* I loved that Colt referred to Sam as "a giant from the future with some magic brick."

* Finch: "So you're a hunter?"
   Dean: "Slash Sheriff"

* Bobby's shout out to Deadwood was great. I was actually wondering if that was going to come up. 

* Dean: "Yippe ki-yay mother f..." That's a little Die Hard shout out for those of you who didn't catch it. I'm not much of a fan, but I definitely laughed at Dean saying it. 
 

Comments  

nancyL
# nancyL 2011-04-24 15:09
Sofia, I enjoyed this episode. Even though the only western that I have ever seen and liked is the remake of '3:10 to Yuma' with Christian Bale.

Meeting Samual Colt was cool (even though he was somewhat jaded), as well as seeing a relative of Daniel Elkins.

With only four episodes left :sad: , I have faith that Sera and Co. will tie all the different story lines together.
Unfortunately, from what I have read, we will see the fall of Sam's wall, people will die, and we will be left with a cliffhanger to stress over the summer hellatus. But we do not watch SPN for happy endings. :D
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-24 17:34
I'm no western buff but I think the style of the episode stayed true to the genre. When you think about it, supernatural plays with a lot of the same themes that westerns do. So it's no surprise that the jump to frontierland would be so seemless and enjoyable.
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2011-04-24 23:36
LOVED 3:10 to Yuma. Under rated movie IMO. I've a soft spot for Westerns,(All the Pretty Horses, True Grit) but that was a good one.
michele klinger
# michele klinger 2011-04-24 16:53
This episode was my favorite of the season. I loved the mix of mythology with the western setting and out hot boys dressed as cowboys.This wasn't in the recap, but I loved Dean's "One man wolf pack" line. The Hangover is one of my favorite movies and hearing Dean reference it made me really giddy
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-24 17:29
The one man wolf pack line was hilarious. that's one of my favorite movies too. Thanks for reminding me about that line!
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2011-04-24 19:41
When Dean says "We'll Star Trek IV this bitch." Bobby's answer to that is "I only watch Deep Space Nine" for those who don't know it: Jim Beaver's wife Cecily Adams, who died in 2004, played Ishka in that show. Ergo his reason to watch that show.
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-25 08:03
Oh, I had no idea! Thanks for sharing that!
Yvonne
# Yvonne 2011-04-24 23:42
I vote that Dean should always wear a cowboy hat from now on. Seriously. Wow. Oh wow. Bobby always wears the trucker cap! Dean should have a hat to.

Twas an enjoyable ep, with a ton of enjoyable moments. But I must admit, my favorite one had nothing Western to do with it. I LOVED it when both Sam and Dean geeked out over Colt's journal. I think that is the first time we've ever seen them geek out together!! Soooo perfect!!

Looks like Sera is busy Trekkifying Dean again. :D That is just awesome. I love that Sam had no idea though. I was in the same boat. At some point, I just may have to watch those shows.

Yay for the Western!!
Alex
# Alex 2011-04-25 07:00
I seem to be alone in not liking the episode then it seems. I just didn't enjoy it. The first 10 minutes were fine, anything involving the blanket was gold. From then on, I just found a lot of the humour was forced and not in Supernatural's style, the scene with Dean defending the Clint Eastwood films especially.

When Sam met Samuel Colt, the whole scene felt very awkward. The fact he came in and said "I'm Sam Winchester and I'm from the year 2011" was such a forced line. Colt was such a throwaway part, I wondered why he was even in the episode until the end. And the end just made a paradox with the phone that just annoyed me.

I've liked most of the episodes this season but this was perhaps my least favourite so far.
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-25 08:17
I was actually surprised that Sam came out with that line too. He didn't even try to ease him in to it. But then again, he didn't really have much time to ease him in to it. I wish we had more time with Colt though. I thought his character was really interesting. But I don't think we'll be seeing him again.

Dean defending the Clint Eastwood movies didn't really surprise me though. Dean has always been a fan of pop culture, sometimes coming out with really odd facts from movies far more obscure than anything with Clint Eastwood.
Alex
# Alex 2011-04-25 15:53
Quote:
I was actually surprised that Sam came out with that line too. He didn't even try to ease him in to it. But then again, he didn't really have much time to ease him in to it. I wish we had more time with Colt though. I thought his character was really interesting. But I don't think we'll be seeing him again.
I think the Sam scene definitely could have been changed to have the same effect. My first thought was Dean phoning Sam, telling him to hurry up. Colt sees the phone and Sam has no choice but to tell him what it was.

Quote:
Dean defending the Clint Eastwood movies didn't really surprise me though. Dean has always been a fan of pop culture, sometimes coming out with really odd facts from movies far more obscure than anything with Clint Eastwood.
And the defending the monkey movies scene, it just didn't feel right. The "Especially the monkey movies" felt very much out of a sitcom and it just didn't sit right with me.

Also, I found the villain almost too sympathetic. Maybe that's petty but I found that what he was doing was almost the right thing. The people he was killing were the bad guys, he was getting justice that he quite rightfully deserved.

It's an episode that I can easily see why others will have liked and I found the first 10 minutes fantastic. It just seemed to spiral down from there. Next weeks episode looks fantastic though, this was just a blip in the road on what has been a great and entertaining season.
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-25 16:10
The only problem I see with that scenario is that there would have been no service of any kind available for Dean to call Sam. But that also made me wonder how Colt was able to access the info on Sam's phone? Maybe his battery held the charge it had? Time travel can get confusing...

Oh well, every once in a while episodes just don't hit home for me either. This wasn't one of them but Mannequin 3: The Reckoning definitely was! Good thing there were so many other quality episodes this season.
Dahne
# Dahne 2011-04-25 11:14
And here I thought I was the only one who had issues with this episode, although mine are different than yours. I liked all the humor but the incredibly lame ending ruined it for me. I didn't particularly enjoy it that much in Back to the Future but it was completely contrived here. I also have issues with the time travel part.
grim_neander
# grim_neander 2011-04-25 11:03
Hi,

I am a new reader to this site, thought I would chime in! Though I did like this episode better than others in s6, I was troubled by some parts.

The first is that this is at least the 2nd time where Sam and Dean are accused of using Castiel selfishly, but at least the first time they actually felt guilty and apologized. This time they barely flinched before telling Cas to do stuff for them, even though he obviously sounded exhausted. They didn't even express any sort of curiosity as to what Cas has been up to, didn't ask any questions, didn't offer any help, nothing. And that feels...out of character. They've been through a lot together, they should have some kind of empathy for each other.

Sam Colt's role did feel very throwaway as well. And there are so many things I would've wanted to ask. For example, how did he make a demon-killing gun and bullets??

Dean's conversation with the Phoenix-- the Phoneix guy was amazing. He felt 100% period western, so much so that Dean stuck out like the parody he was. I kind of wish Dean had immersed totally into the western world as well, but eh, it's too much to hope for in 1 episode, since he is a modern guy and can't help quoting movie lines and acting excited over his role-playing. But what really bothered me was how the phoenix explained exactly why he had killed those people, and Dean didn't care a bit. Sure, I understand that Dean's main concern is the Mother, but even he was able to feel for the monster he was hunting, like in that vampire ep where they drank cows. Now, he paused for a second, but he barely seemed to be conflicted...
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-25 11:46
Thanks for chiming in! You bring up some interesting points.

I agree that Sam and Dean take Cas for granted sometimes. It would be nice to hear them say thanks from time to time. But even after "Weekend at Bobby's" where they whole episode revolved around the fact that the boys take Bobby for granted you still rarely hear them thank him. I think it's just expected that they are friends and allies and they all help each other. They have offered their services to Cas in the past but I don't think there is much they can do for him right now. Whatever he's got going on in Heaven is not something he seems to want to share.

I really liked the guy who played the phoenix too. I thought he was very authentic. I did feel bad for him too but at the end of the day he was killing people and they needed his ashes. Those are two pretty good reasons for Sam and Dean to kill him. The vampires you mentioned in "Bloodlust" on the other hand were peaceful. They made a choice to fight their instincts and stop killing. I think that's why Dean was able to let them go.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2011-04-27 05:24
Allow me to welcome you to our site, grim_neander!
It's great that you found us. Feel free to come back any time, I trust you will find a lot of fun and warm atmosphere here! We are a fun-loving bunch...

Welcome! Jas
ChristopherH
# ChristopherH 2011-04-25 16:37
Hands down my favorite episode this season.
Kaitlin
# Kaitlin 2011-04-25 17:41
Hey Sofia,

Great review as always. About Cas, I agree that I've been suspecting him to be doing something he shouldn't be, however, he did mention that Rachel's plan to kill him was brought on by Rafael who Cas said "persuaded" her. Maybe what Cas is doing isn't so bad and Rafael is blowing it up as a way of getting angel's attention? Just a thought.
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-26 10:08
While I would hope that's true I don't know that it is. I definitely think Cas is up to something that is testing his moral code otherwise he wouldn't have kept the Winchesters in the dark this long. I just hope it's nothing unforgivable!
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2011-04-26 09:02
You know, I'm stuck on a stupid detail here. I get that the saloon owner, Elkins is the one who saw the shoot-out, apparently picked up the colt and passed it down to the Elkins of our time, where our boys find it in his cabin. I rather like that continuity from one time to another, explaining how the more recent Elkins obtained it without having to explain it in words. I love that they give us those little "Ah-Ha!" moments to catch on our own.

But, how come the bullets just magically seem to follow this gun around. Has anyone noticed that? When the boys took it from Elkins' cabin in season 1, they left the case (how'd that get there) and just took the gun. When John gave it to the Demon, he put it on the hospital table- Without bullets! Yet, we seem to be keeping track of how many get used and we don't see how they go along with the gun. Sorry, just a little detail, but the little stuff bugs me. This one is right up there with Sam in a coma for 10 days, with an IV and somehow emerging from Bobby's basement looking freshly showered and shaved. Not only did his beard not grow, but I don't think the poor man got to relieve himself.
Sorry, I'm a detail nut.
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-26 09:12
You know, I have never thought about that! It would have been interesting if the gun itself was the magic and any bullets would work but they led us to believe that running out of bullets was a problem. Even when Ruby fixes the Colt in season 3 there aren't any more bullets which is why Bobby decides to take it apart and try to see how it works, right? So maybe Ruby did something to it to make it compatible with regular bullets? Either way, it would have been nice to know.
fanotheboyz
# fanotheboyz 2011-04-26 09:31
I think when Ruby fixed the gun, there were still supposedly 3 bullets, but I'm not sure. I was just looking at the gallery photos and I have another question. (I see people rolling their eyes-I see you, really) But what happened to Dean's duffle with the gold from the dragon's lair and his hand gun? I think it got left in Sunrise. I hate that. I would've liked to have seen it in Sam's hands while he was watching the shoot-out. It would make and OCD viewer like me happier!
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-26 10:06
Now I'm going to "have to" watch this episode again! (As if it would be a chore) I didn't even notice that! There is no eye-rolling by the way. I love continuity, I'm just not that observant!

I was happy that Dean dropped the Colt as he ran toward the ashes though because if he had traveled back with it the continuity would have been shot to hell.
Ginger
# Ginger 2011-04-26 19:01
I believe Dean handed Sam his gun when Sam handed Dean the Colt, so Sam should have Dean's gun. Now the duffle bag? No, that was left in Sunrise, along with all the rest of the gold, too. Poor Dean. He's broke again.
Junkerin
# Junkerin 2011-04-27 04:21
OK the bag was left in Sunrise, but Dean spent some (most) of the gold for renting the horse and on his gear. He didn´t take all of his gold, just some
Karen
# Karen 2011-04-26 10:26
Hi Sofia
I really enjoyed this episode.
It was light humoured and fun and I think we needed this one. I'm pretty sure the remaining four episodes are going to be very emotional and intense.
I'm also worried about Castiel...I really believe that he would never do anything to betray Dean and Sam...but I do believe he has become desperate and desperate times cause for desperate measures.
Thank you for the review.
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-26 10:32
Karen, I agree on all accounts. We did really need a light-hearted episode before the end of the season which will most likely be emotionally draining.

I agree that Castiel is desperate. It's not like him to keep things from Sam and Dean. I don't think his intention is to hurt the Winchesters but I am worried about them getting caught up in the crossfire.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2011-04-27 05:26
Hi Sofia,
I'm a bit late to this. Didn't want to read it before I completed my own thingy.

I enjoyed reading your review. It seems you share my concerns about Cas. Where is the poor angel going? What has he got himself into? We will find out, I fear...

But - it is one of my favourite episodes, always will be. Oh, dear, the list is growing longer...

Cheers, Jas
sofia
# sofia 2011-04-27 07:58
Jas, I know what you mean! I really do want to know what Cas is up to but I'm also scared to find out...

This was a great episode. I gave up trying to keep track of my favorite episodes. The list is far too long!
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2011-04-28 18:33
It's great, though, isn't it - to have a loooong list of favourite episodes... :-)